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a Deputy, and consequently that their King was his Viceroy; it tells us next, how He was pleased to bring them to repentance in an extraordinary way; the. gracious method he commonly employed when he intended to pardon. Samuel assembled the People * ; and to convince them of their crime in demanding a King, called down the present vengeance of their offended GOD in a storm of thunder and rain at the time of wheat-harvest. This sudden desolation brings them to a sense of their guilt, and they implore mercy and forgiveness: "And all the People said

unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the Lord "thy God, that we die not; for we have added unto "all our sins this evil, to ask us a King. And Samuel "said unto the People, Fear not; (ye have done all "this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following "the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; "and turn ye not aside: for then should you go after "vain things which cannot profit nor deliver; for they

are vain;) For the Lord will not forsake his People "for his great Name's sake: because it hath pleased "the Lord to make you his People." Here, we see, they repent, are pardoned, and received again into Grace, as appears by the concluding promise, that the Theocratic form should be continued. They are ready to give up their King, and yet a regal character is instituted. The plain conclusion from all this is, that their King was given, and, now at least, received as GOD'S DEPUTY.

But Father Simon is at length provoked into a Reason, and that, to say the truth, no weak one. God, he observes, kept the election of their King in his own hands §. 1 Sam. xii. Chap. xii. 17, 18. 1 Sam. xii. 19. & seq.

*

§ Et une preuve même qu'il ne cessoit pas d'être leur chef par cette election, c'est qu'il s'en rend le maître. Reponse aux Sen

timens, p. 55

But

But this, Le Clerc says, proves nothing. How so? Because, according to this reasoning, we should be obliged to say that God oftener discharged the func tions of Civil chief in the idolatrous realm of the ten Tribes than in that of Judah: for that was elective, this, hereditary*. And what if we do? Where will be the harm of it? The two kingdoms made up but one Commonwealth; of which God, as Head, gowerned by two Viceroys. And if he oftener acted immediately in the kingdom of Israel, there was a plain reason for it; Its inhabitants were more given to idolatrous worship; and needed more the frequency of an extraordinary restraint. And, in effect, we find he did interfere greatly in other instances, as well as in the election of their Kings.

In truth, F. Simon seemed to see as little into the force of the observation (that God reserved the choice of their King to himself) when he urged it, as M. Le Clerc did, when he despised it: yet it is strongly conclusive for the continuation of the Theocracy. For had the visible King which the Israelites demanded been granted to them, that is, a King in his own right, sovereign, and at the head of a new Constitution, or indeed, any other than a Viceroy to the KING of the Theocracy, the choice of him would have been reserved to the People. It was a natural right; and more than that, a right which God did not think fit to

* Pour ce que dit M. Simon, que Dieu se rend maitre de l'elec tion des Rois, il ne s'ensuit nullement qu'il continuât d'être pour cela chef politique de la republique d'Israël; puisque si cela étoit, il faudroit die que Dien faisoit beaucoup plus souvent les fonc• tions de chef de l'etat dans le royaume Idolatre des dix tribes, que dans celui de Juda. Car ce derniere royaume étoit hereditaire, & étoit possedé par la maison de David, sans qu'il fut besoin d'aucune election, au lieu qu'il le fit plusieurs elections dans celui des x tribes. Defense des Sentimens, pp. 124, 122,

take

take from them, when he first accepted the regal office for himself. But if the People have, by natural Law, a right to chuse their own King, that King hath, by civil Law, a prerogative to chuse his own Deputy. When we see him therefore-exercise this prerogative; we may be assured that the King chosen was no other than his Deputy, as SOVEREIGN of the Theocracy. But to return to the two Combatants.-Here the Dispute ended; and for farther satisfaction, Le Clerc refers us to a book of Spencer's, written professedly upon this very subject. It is his tract De Theocre tia Judaica. What is to be found there, besides the arguments which Le Clerc has borrowed from it, and which have been considered already, I shall now with some reluctance inform the Reader.

This treatise is by no means in the number of those on which Spencer raised his reputation. He goes on & wrong hypothesis; he uses weak arguments; and he is confused and inconsistent in his assertions.

1. He thinks the Theocracy was established by degrees, and abrogated by degrees. A conceit highly absurd, as GOD was the Lawgiver, and Supreme Magistrate of the Jews.-He thinks the first step to its introduction was their protection at the Red Sea §;

and

* Il n'est pas necessaire que je m'arrête d'avantage à cela, après ce qu'en a dit le savant Spencer dans un traité qu'il a fait expres sur cette matiere. Lib.i. de Legg. Heb. Rit. Def. des Sent. p. 122. +- Neminem in sacris literis vel mediocriter versatum latere potest Theocratiam in ipso rerum Israeliticarum exordio aliquatenus obtinuisse, ad aur autem non nisi gradatim & post legen in Sinai datam pervenisse. Vol. I. p. 239.

Cum autem regiminis hujus, non simul & semel, sed per gradus quosdam, jacturam fecerint, placet hic veritatis fugientis vestigia gradatim premere. Id. ib.

§ Gradum primum ad potestatem regiam obtinendam fecisse videtur Deus; cum gentem Israeliticam insigni illo potentia &

bonitatis

and the first step to its abolition, their demand of a King*: That it was still more impaired when Saul and David got possession of the thronet: That it approached much nearer to its end when it became hereditary, under Salomon ‡ and yet, for all this, he confesses that some obscure footsteps of it remained even to the time of CHRIST §.

He

2. In his reasoning for the abolition of the THEOCRACY, instead of employing the general principles of civil Policy, which were the only means of coming to the truth, he insists much on the disuse of Urim and Thummim, &c. which Le Clerc borrowed from him; and which hath been already considered. brings the despotic power of the Kings, as another argument; which, I think, proves just the contrary. For if so be, that these Kings were the Viceroys of 'God, whose power was despotic, their power must be despotic too, i. e. independent on all but the SOVEREIGN. Not so, if they were Monarchs in their own

right.

3. Though, as we observed, Spencer, in the second "section of his fourth chapter, supposes a gradual decay of the Theocracy; and that even some obscure foot

steps

bonitatis suæ documento (Egyptiorum in Mari Rubro submersione) sibi devinxisset. 1d. ib.

* Primo itaque ad certum affirmo, quod Israelitæ, regem sibi dari postulantes, gradum primum ad imperii hujus desideratissimi : ruinam fecisse videantur. Id. ib.

+ Dei regimen multo magis imminutum est, cum Deus Saulem` & Dacidem ad rerum arbitrium evocasset. p. 240.

Salomone rerum potito, Theocratia multo vicinior åpanope non immerito censeatur.

§ Judæi Theocratiæ veteris indicia & vestigia quædam obscu riora, ad extrema usque politiæ suæ tempora retinuere-ipso Domini nostri século, Hierosolyma civitas magni regis audiit. Ib.

adeo ut hinc constet, eos se pro regibus gestisse, & potestatem arbitrariam exercuisse. Ib.

steps of it remained to the time of CHRIST; yet, in the following section, he, all the way, argues upon the supposition of an absolute and entire abrogation * by the establishment of the Kings †.-To proceed.

II. That this Theocracy, the administration of which lay, as it were, in abeyance during the Capti vity, was again exercised after the return from it, is evident from the express declaration of the Almighty, by the Prophet Haggai: Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshuit, Son of Josedech the High Priest; and be strong, all ye People of the Land, saith the Lord, and work: for F am with you, saith the Lord of Hosts: ACCORDING TO THE WORD THAT I COVENANTED WITH You, WHEN YOU CAME OUT OF EGYPT, SO MY SPIRIT REMAINETH AMONGST YOU : fear ye not ‡. What was that Covenant? That Israel should be his People, and He, their God and King. Therefore it cannot burely incan, that he would be their God, and they should be his People; for this was but part of the Covenant. Nor can it mean that they should be condacted by an extraordinary providence, as at their coming out of Egypt, and during the first periods of the Theocracy; for this was but the effects of the Covenant: avd besides, we know that that dispensation of Providence soon ecased after the Re-establishment. The meaning therefore must be, that he would still continue their KING as well as God. Yet at the same time, when this Theocracy was restored, it was both fit, on account of its own dignity, and necessary for the People's assurance, that it should be attended

Regiminis hujus mutati vel abrogati causa principalis→→→ De regiminis hujus abrogati effectu vel eventu breviter disserendum est &c. pp. 241-243.

+ See note [H] at the end of this Book,

Chap. ii. ver. 4, 5

with

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